As tools become more powerful, they also become more complex, which means less users are able to take advantage of that power. True power comes from leveraging simpler, more elegant, more pragmatic systems that combined enable outcomes that are greater than the sum of the parts.
If you are not building your business on a foundation of core ecommerce fundamentals, you are wasting time, money, headspace, and resources. You are likely focusing on the minutiae and things that don’t matter now.
Most new (and many well-established) direct-to-consumer brands grossly underestimate how challenging and expensive it is to find and acquire good customers.
It’s time to rebase when you’re paralyzed by technical debt, your team are frustrated because you can’t make changes you feel should be so easy, you need developers to do the simplest things, and you’re spending more time discussing minutiae than strategizing and implementing impactful initiatives.
If we rephrase “requirements” as goals and objectives, we will see leaner, more nimble projects that move faster, cost less money and headspace, and lead to more impactful and successful outcomes.
Despite all the best intentions, meticulous discovery, thoughtful design, and careful planning, how many ecommerce brands find themselves 6–12 months after launch of a new or refreshed site in a spiraling cycle of technical debt and increasing maintenance overhead?
Identifying and fixing issues with product data on large-inventory Shopify stores is time-consuming. This is an experiment to see what can be done by stitching together open-source or freemium tools using no-code or low-code principles.
We need to get back to basics. We need to have a relentless focus on simplicity—on foundational best-practices. We need to eliminate as many of the moving parts as possible to make it easier to diagnose problems and easier to identify the squeaky wheel or where to apply the grease.
The more unknown unknowns there are in a design brief or system requirements, the more time is required to understand the core problems in order to design a suitable solution. Keeping things lean enables you to stay nimble, iterate faster, and grow more sustainably.
Earlier this year, I chatted with Rachel Tyers, VP of Strategic Partnerships at Okendo, about my journey launching one of the first Shopify agencies in the world, developing research-backed strategies for our clients, and how the Shopify/partner agency relationships have evolved over the years.